The first step in any GoPro Studio workflow is to convert your source files into the GoPro CineForm format. This is very important and there are several reasons to do this.
All consumer‐level cameras and many professional‐level cameras record in highly compressed video formats designed to capture large amounts of data very quickly and save that data onto an SD card or other portable media format in as small a file as possible. This is great for recording a lot of data onto a small space, but these compression formats are not designed nor optimized for maintaining image quality during editing or color correction processes. Because these formats are so compressed, they often require an ultra powerful computer to decode (playback) the files without performance degradation (choppy playback or dropped frames).
Because of this, many professional filmmakers and consumer‐level videographers use what is called a Digital Intermediate (DI). A DI is an exact copy of the data from the original video file saved in a file format that is specifically optimized for higher image quality and fast playback on modern computer systems. This makes for a much better editing experience.
The GoPro CineForm format (or codec) is the Digital Intermediate (DI) used in all GoPro Studio workflows and is one of the best in the industry—used by indie filmmakers and Hollywood studios alike.
Ultimately, GoPro CineForm files are better for editing than camera source files. They improve on image quality and playback speed, as well as provide the Active MetadataTM architecture required to enable the real‐time image development and enhancement features available in GoPro Studio’s EDIT Room.